A routine vote at a Los Angeles City Council meeting on September 21, 2016, turned into a huge discussion about distracted driving in the city.
Council members gathered to consider whether or not they’d accept a grant as part of the city’s Vision Zero plan, which aims to reduce the city’s number of traffic fatalities to zero by the year 2025.
According to the Department of Transportation, about 225 people die each year on the city’s roadways; about half of these reported deaths are pedestrians and cyclists.
The council members heatedly discussed L.A. drivers’ affinity for speed, even when they follow shortcuts through residential areas where children could be playing. Sometimes, they said, drivers reach up to 70 miles per hour, and they do so only to shave a few seconds off of their commuting time.
They also lamented the fact that drivers tend to do other things behind the wheel than just driving. They’ve heard of drivers reading, doing their make-up and perusing cell phone apps. Even GPS mapping apps can divert attention and make driving less safe.
And, while drivers got quite a bit of flack from the council, pedestrians also received criticism. They noted that pedestrians often wear headphones so they’re less aware of the traffic that they’re crossing; they also cross streets without looking, which means that drivers have to be paying attention and stop to let them pass.
In the end, the council voted unanimously to accept the funds provided by Vision Zero. The $500,000 grant will be put toward improving intersections with better signage and by scrambling crossings. This means that all four lights turn red, allowing pedestrians to cross any which way for an allotted amount of time.
Of course, even with these and other precautionary measures still in place, accidents can happen. If you’re involved as a driver or pedestrian, don’t hesitate to contact the team at the SoCal Injury Lawyers. We’ll guide you through tough legal proceedings as we have with so many clients in the past. Call or e-mail us today to learn more about how we’d handle your case.